Beautiful winter squash/Kobocha pumpkins
My friend Asim at Swallowtail Farm hooked me up with a pair of lovely winter squash last week.
According to Asim, these are "kobocha" pumpkins, which are a type of Cucurbita maxima.
In case you don't know your squash varieties in Latin, there are 4 main edible species of squash that have been developed into a baffling array of cultivars. They are C. maxima, C. mixta (also known as C. argyrosperma), C. moschata and C. pepo.
The best varieties for the heat and humidity of the south are C. moschata types. Those include a lot of tropical pumpkins, butternut squash and Seminole pumpkins.
These kobocha pumpkins had a mild, nutty flavor that wasn't as rich as my Seminole pumpkins. I saved the seeds and will be growing some next year, however, since they won't cross with my other types and because they look cool.
My tropical pumpkin/squash breeding experiment is all comprised of C. moschata types, which means I can grow C. pepo or C. maximas in the same beds without worrying about undesirable cross-pollination.
Let's take a second look at these cool kobochas:
I don't know what it is, but I really, really like growing squashes. I think it's because of their incredible beauty.
If you want to grow winter squash in Florida or the southeast, the easiest types to start with are Seminole pumpkins, cheese types, or any variety of butternuts.
Also, if you're interested in squash as a survival crop, you should REALLY pick up a copy of Carol Deppe's book The Resilient Gardener.
And if you really want to go down the squash rabbit hole, check out this video:
I watched it twice.
Yes, I am nuts.
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